For I am Not Ashamed...Are You?
Many of us are uncomfortable with sharing our faith. When it comes down to it, many are just plain terrified of it! Why is this so? Some could say that they were afraid of getting it wrong, others will say that "it's rude to talk religion" while, still, others will say "What people do is their own business." And yet, if we ignore this command (the Great Commission) of Jesus to go and make disciples, we're disobeying Him. As Charles Spurgeon put it: "it is the duty of the whole church to tell the whole Gospel to the whole world." And I am not speaking of people who go to different churches, either! If someone is of the flock, meaning if they are following Jesus, are born again, and stand upon the Bible as the authority of God, they're our brothers and sisters in Christ! No, it is the LOST who need to be saved, not the sheep of His Pasture! Beloved, in this, the Church (not the name over the door, but the body unified), should be as one: that we need to preach the Gospel to the Lost that they may hear and know the richness and fullness of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived as one of us to be prepared as the substitution of our rebellion (sins). He died for us to pay the ransom for our sin, and our sins were nailed to that cross, as His body suffered and died. Our old selves were buried with Him in the tomb. As He rose again, He became the firstfruits of resurrection, promising that we can live in His resurrection, the newness of life now, and that, when He returns, we shall rise again and live with Him forever, new and whole. He is alive, at the right hand of the Father, and He is returning some day to make all things new. This is what we need to focus on, this is what every believer should share with the lost, and this is how we stay focused on Christ. As Paul said "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is that power of God for salvation for those who believe" (Romans 1:16a). Do you believe this? Do you live this? Go out and share! Romans 1:9-2:11 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Chapter 2 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.